Visually impaired kids take flight - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Visually impaired kids take flight

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Some Eastern Iowa pilots had some very special guest co-pilots Tuesday.

Campers with the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School in Vinton got the chance to fly.

All 15 of the visually impaired students were smiling from ear to ear during the event.

The young co-pilots soared through the sky near Vinton, Iowa on their one-on-one flights with volunteer pilots.

 "I pulled it back and it felt like I was rising in a rocket and then I pushed it forward, the first time, it felt like I was going to fall out of the plane," said Reece Drapeau, one of the campers.

 "The different parts of the plane we normally see just by looking at it, they will get to go up and feel around," explained Sara Larkin a representative of the school.
   With varying degrees of vision impairment, the campers were able to explore the planes before taking off.
   "Very tip, nose," explained a pilot. 
   "Why are there a lot of bumps?" asked a camper.
    "Lots of bolts, little rivets, and screws," replied the pilot.

Many of these kids have flown commercial flights, but that's not quite the same as flying in a small plane like this where they can take a hold of the controls.

 "I did get to take the controls a couple of times," said Christian Frantz, one of the campers.
  "You flew the plane?" asked KWWL reporter Jessica Hartman.
   "Yes!" replied Frantz.
   "Wow, what was that like?" asked Hartman.
   "Awesome!" said Frantz.

  "Sit up front and kind of feel how the controls were working, so that was a first for him to do that. It is always cool to see their smile grow when they get into that turn and go right or left," explained Mike Jimenez, one of the pilots volunteering for the event.

 The pilots donating their time are part of the Experimental Aircraft Association's East Central Iowa chapter.


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